Take in some breathtaking views of Liverpool on top of Europe's first skyscraper

As one of Liverpool’s tallest buildings, standing at 322 ft tall, the Royal Liver Building is hard to miss, and can be seen from far across the city thanks to the addition of two 18ft tall Liver Birds placed on top.

In 2019, the building was opened to the public for the RLB360 tour, which allows visitors to enjoy an immersive experience in the original clock mechanism room, and to gape in awe at the spectacular views the Liverpool skyline has to offer from the rooftop of the Royal Liver Building itself.

With famous faces appearing on the tour in the last few weeks from 2022’s UK Eurovision entry Sam Ryder to BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood who shot a live forecast for the Grand Final of the 2023 song contest, I decided to brave my fear of heights and embark on the tour myself.

20230509 View Of Museums And Docks
View of the Museum of Liverpool and docks from the 10th floor Confidentials

Opened in 1911, the Grade I listed building was Europe’s first skyscraper with a whopping 15 floors to reach the roof viewing platform. Monikered after the Liverpool Lyver Burial Society, the building was an upgrade for the company who assisted Liverpool locals with funeral costs. 

20230509 Wide Shot Of Liver Buidling And City
View of the city Confidentials

The two Liver Birds, affectionately named Bella and Bertie, were designed to watch over the city and the sea, as legend has it the pair face away from each other, as if they were to ever mate and fly away, the city would cease to exist.

Another well known fable is that Bella looks out to the Mersey for returning seamen whilst Bertie looks to the city making sure the pubs are open. 

20230509 River Mersey
View of the River Mersey from the 10th Floor Confidentials

Upon arrival for the RLB360 tour, there is a gift shop for your perusal, as well as a range of informative boards which explores the building’s history and architecture, and even size comparisons of large things such as giraffes and double decker buses just so you can comprehend just how big each Liver Bird is.

After a quick health and safety brief, the tour begins with a quick lift trip to the 10th floor where you can witness your first stunning views of the city and one of the four clock faces, which are the biggest time mechanisms in the UK, far surpassing the size of Big Ben, each measuring 25ft wide. 

20230509 More Information Regarding The Clock Faces
Information about the clock faces Confidentials
20230509 Clock Tower
Clock tower Confidentials

Following on from admiring the views of the 10th floor and craning your neck to see the clock face above, you’ll then be taken up 124 stairs to the room behind the clocks for the immersive video experience, and from there you will then be lead up to the 15th floor where you’ll be able to take in even more breathtaking views of the city.

For those adverse to heights, much like myself, the idea of standing on one of Liverpool’s tallest buildings could be a rather daunting prospect. However, upon reaching the top floor I was pleasantly surprised at the high walls that surrounded all sides, preventing you from looking directly down, but instead redirect you to look across at the city’s expanse and further afield. 

20230509 View Of High Rises
View of high rises Confidentials

From the top floor of the Royal Liver Building you can also spot some of the city's other landmarks including the Radio City tower and both cathedrals. 

20230509 Zoom Of Other Liver Building And City
View of the city from the 15th floor Confidentials

If incredible city perspectives and historic landmarks are your thing, the RLB360 is a must visit. 

Tours last roughly 70 minutes, and cost £16 for adults, £11 for children, or £42.50 for families of four. Tickets can be booked via the 360 tour website

Header image © Hayden Naughton

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